“The Other Woman,” an all-around fun time at the movies

Published 11:31 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

by Lauren Bradshaw

Don’t you love when you are watching a movie and can tell the actors had a great time making it?

It not only makes the movie a fun, entertaining experience, but, at least to me, makes it more enjoyable to watch. “The Other Woman,” directed by Nick Cassavetes, is a great example of this.

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton… hell, even Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, seemed like they were having the best time making this film. In fact, their great chemistry, which also rubbed off on their characters, helped me get over the fact that the movie falls apart in the third act. I may not have been able to endure such an unfortunate slide in quality had this been a lesser group of actors. Not to mention, it cannot be denied that this film has its serious funny moments, mostly thanks to the brilliant Leslie Mann.

“The Other Woman” tells the story of the female bond overcoming the dalliances of a philandering man. Carly (Diaz) is a high-powered attorney with a super attractive boyfriend, Mark (Coster-Waldau), who is wealthy in his own right. Their relationship seems to be out of a fairytale, well until the two get in a fight one night and Carly travels out to Mark’s Connecticut home to make up. Let’s just say Mark isn’t the only one home. His wife Kate (Mann) answers the door and the two women meet face-to-face. Soon, they come to realize that good ole Mark might not be such a great guy after all; he has been cheating on the two of them with each other and other girls on the side! For payback, the two women join forces to make his life a living hell. Bringing in another of Mark’s lovers (Upton), only adds to the girl power. That is, until a business deal changes the dynamics of the relationship between Mark and Kate. Is Mark willing to change his stripes and if so, can Kate forgive him?

There is no way this film could have had a chance without the genius that is Leslie Mann. As in every other one of her films, Leslie proves when it comes to comedy (especially of the physical variety), she is one of the best in the business. In one scene, she is doing all of her dialogue with messed up hair and I could not stop laughing. It isn’t even supposed to be a huge gag, but those little touches are what I love most about Leslie’s work. Cameron Diaz was also fun in the film. I’m glad that she is back to acting in her bread-and-butter genre, fun comedies. Like Leslie, Cameron gives her all to comedy and doesn’t seem to care about looking silly. I did, however, get sick of the constant “Cameron Diaz is so hot” bits. Cameron looks good, but what about some love for Leslie Mann? I think the philandering husband was just as crazy to cheat on her!

Shoutout to Nicki Minaj and Kate Upton too! They were a lot better than I expected, especially Minaj. A friend jokingly demanded Minaj play Ursula in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming Little Mermaid. Now, I may not be as appalled.

Now for the bad. “The Other Woman” starts off with an interesting take on the woman scorned comedy. However, once Kate Upton is introduced as your stereotypical ditzy blonde bombshell and Taylor Kinney is revealed as a young love interest for Cameron Diaz, the whole “girl power” notion goes down the drain. Why couldn’t this be a fun “girlfriends unite” comedy where love interests aren’t needed? At times, especially in the middle of the second act, the movie felt long. Had Taylor Kinney and Don Johnson’s storylines been cut out completely (as I did in my above plot summary), the movie would have flowed a lot more nicely.

SPOILER ALERT Speaking of Don Johnson, what the hell was up with the “where are they now” scenes at the end? The disappointment that ridiculous sequence caused almost put me in an early grave. We are supposed to find it hilarious that Kate Upton, a girl we grew to like throughout the whole movie, ends up with a womanizing 60+ year-old-man? Did they not realize what their own movie was about?

Although “The Other Woman” did leave me on a sour note, I cannot deny that throughout the other 100+ minutes, there were moments where I laughed my butt off. Plus, in the vein of “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat,” you could tell these actors had a great time making the film and there is always fun in that.

My Review: B/B-